we are more than our minds. we are matter.
our bodies enable us to experience life and i believe it’s our responsibility to pay attention and tend to their needs. our bodies are gifts we must honor.
we live in a culture that is always on the go and doesn’t value leisure. keeping busy and being productive is such a toxic mantra that it requires us to swim against this mainstream current, if we want our bodies to stay healthy. this applies to everyone, not just people like me with a cyclical body. all bodies need rest in order to stay balanced.
one thing i love about my cycle is that it has taught me exactly when my body needs to rest and recharge its energy. but in order to integrate this knowledge into my life, i first had to learn to listen to my body. to become aware of my body. since i’m cyclical, this meant getting to know my four cycle phases.
body literacy wasn’t passed on to me or something i learned at school. in 2002, i was lucky to stumble across a book that changed the course of my life forever and led me on the journey of cyclical living. next year, it will be 30 years since i had my menarche (first menstruation). that’s three decades of being cyclical!
when we start paying attention to our bodies and give them what they need, we do so much more than simply benefit our physical health: we give them a voice and become their advocates and thereby also foster our mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing – which allows us to live life to the fullest.
shortly before i menstruate, my body gets less energetic and i feel the need to slow down. i usually try to finish projects and prepare for my menstrual phase, so that when it’s time for my uterus to shed its menstrual blood, i can relax into this natural phase of renewal.
if i were to submit to mainstream culture’s non-stop productivity beat and ignore my body’s monthly need to recharge and withdraw from the outside world – such as my relationships, events, obligations and social media – my body would suffer from lack of rest and regeneration.
this suffering would not only affect my physical, but also mental health. by following the beat of my cycle and allowing my body to take up space in my life, i’m not just doing myself a favor, but also the society i live in.
so, you’re welcome, mainstream society! you’re welcome that i prioritize my body’s innate wisdom over your toxic live-life-like-a-busy-bee-mantra. if i were to live my life according to that lie, i’d be overwhelmed, exhausted and probably struggling with health issues.
is that what you want? a powerless, drained and eventually sick woman? are those the attributes that make me a strong member of society?
dear mainstream society, i know… you don’t value my life style and i can almost see you rolling your eyes at the thought of me taking a few days off when i menstruate. how dare i be – what you consider – unproductive.
well, let me tell you something: you don’t get to define the terms of my productivity. we do: my body and i.
and by golly, we do this well!
in sync with my body and every month anew, i become the empress and alchemist of my cyclical energy, witnessing its transformation, when it ebbs, when it flows. when it’s a trickling stream whispering course corrections, or a clear and quiet pond revealing pearls of wisdom, or when it rises to an ocean, majestic and powerful, full of outward-directed intention.
ohhh, and when it rises, you better watch out! because that energy becomes a fucking tsunami! which, worry not, i have learned to harness and channel into… you wouldn’t have guessed… productivity.
or actually, do worry!
do worry that one day, millions of us – no matter what sex we are – will be honoring our bodies again. and in honoring our own bodies, we will begin to value and protect the biggest body of all: the earth we live on – our mother – who nourishes every single one of us. when that time comes, your toxic narrative that only causes greed and suffering will finally be: a thing of the past.